NewsRegionBaltimore County

Actions

Nasty smell costing business and creating health concerns

Posted: 11:29 PM, Sep 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-20 07:59:16-04

You can’t see it but anybody who has been in or around White Marsh the last couple months has most likely smelled it.

It’s the talk of the town and WMAR-2 News has been investigating what is causing the stench. The smell is  coming from the Honeygo Run Reclamation Center .

Something called hydrogen sulfide is causing a noticeable stink around town. It hits you in waves when you drive down Route 43 and is seeping its way into businesses like the Double T Diner.

“It was trapped in here I couldn’t get it out,"  Owner Katerina Lagadinos said. "I can’t open the doors it brings it right back in,”

Many of the over 50 employees have gotten sick over the last month and Lagadinos has spent hundreds on odor absorbers to deal with the smell.

The word of smell traveled on social media, and for a small business that depends on every dime, it’s been crushing.

“I don’t want to smell this anymore. I mean it’s not pleasant when someone is trying to sit down and eat. It’s embarrassing when a customer comes up to you and says your business really smells. What do you say to that?”

After a community uproar, the Maryland Department of the Environment and Baltimore County started to act, citing Honeygo Run for failing to control and prevent off-site odors.

The MDE report said the odor comes from hydrogen sulfide. In that report, Honeygo Run said they are working on using a chemical that would remove the odor.

In the meantime, Heather Patti has been spearheading a community effort to fix the problem. She’s felt the effects of the chemical and has fielded hundreds of emails from people about how it is making them feel.               

“Ear, eye, nose, throat, irritation. Coughing, asthma, exacerbations, headaches, dizziness, fatigue and nausea. Those are consistent with what I researched with 2 to 5 parts exposure to hydrogen sulfide."

Patti said it’s worse at night and when it’s not raining.

All of the people we talked to say the smell hasn’t gone away and that the county and Honeygo haven’t done enough to fix the potentially dangerous situation.